Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy

The wind is blowing, schools are back in session, and with the return of Fall comes cold and flu season. Last year, the mask ban was lifted, and common illnesses returned to schools and the workplace with an aggressive vengeance. It felt as though some of us received no reprieve before the next bug struck. While it may not be possible to avoid every sickness that comes our way, we can take steps to reduce the severity of this year’s predicted onslaught.

You Are What You Eat

We’ve all heard the cliche statement “you are what you eat,” but it’s never been truer. The food industry is facing scrutiny because of the increase in pesticides and harsh chemical smothering and penetrating our food supply. Fresh and preserved foods that are supposed to provide our bodies with nourishment are now causing significant strain on our kidneys, liver, and immune system. The inundation of chemicals, highly processed foods, and drinks, and a growing disconnect between farmers and consumers has left room for unhealthy standards.

By familiarizing ourselves with local farmers, signing up for a CSA (some of these programs even have government funding to allow accessibility to low-income families), and reducing the consumption of processed foods and drinks we can dramatically reduce the strain poor quality food places on our body. This switch can be simple. Instead of grabbing another sweet treat, reach for fruit instead. When properly educated, food can be one of the best medicinal resources we have but if we don’t put the correct foods in our bodies, it can cause serious harm.

When In Doubt, Drink! (Water that is)

Water is the most vital resource we have on this planet. It’s the reason Earth can support all life and, in turn, is equally vital for all processes in the human body. Most minor discomfort can be alleviated if you start drinking water as soon as you notice them. Drinking water at the first sign of a cold, headache, or gastrointestinal upset, for example, can be all it takes to avoid worse complications. It is also worth mentioning that when you’re already sick, the body uses more water to help fight off illness so it’s important to increase your water consumption to give the body the ultimate fighting power!

There is one thing to note about water consumption. Plain tap water does not contain the essential electrolytes to properly hydrate the cells. Adding a pinch of high-quality salt, an electrolyte packet (pay attention to extra sugar in some of these), a squeeze of lemon, or a few slices of cucumber increases the odds of adequate hydration so the body can flush out toxins. Honor your body and drink some water!

See Your Primary Care Provider

It’s always best to visit your medical provider for your annual physical exam before you get sick. During those exams, opt for routine bloodwork. Physical exams and routine bloodwork are excellent ways to determine if you have any early warning signs for illness or nutrient deficiencies. The body cannot function at its best if it does not have what it needs to support all its processes. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of treatment. Go into this cold and flu season knowing that your body is supported with everything it needs to fight illness. Call your local OnePeak Medical clinic to schedule your next annual physical exam.

Get Moving!

Americans work long hours sitting at a desk and, by the end of the day, are fraught with aches, pains, and grumbles. This inactivity and the stress that comes with it take a much greater toll on our health than previously thought. Because stress and inactivity have been directly linked to compromised immune function, incorporating simple exercise routines into your day can improve your quality of life while boosting the immune system. A walk in the park during your lunch break accompanied by some deep breaths will, over time, regulate your nervous system.

This year, take the pledge to increase your fighting power. Go for a walk, drink water, get informed about the quality of the food you eat, and visit your medical provider for a check-up. You are the only one who can advocate for your health and well-being. In the age of information, there are endless ways to feel supported in our journey to wellness!

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